City addressing discrimination in public accommodations

Listening session in Spanish and English set for Dec. 14

The City of Minneapolis is addressing discrimination in businesses through education, extensive investigation and enforcement. All people have the right to receive service, free from discrimination, from any business that obtains or solicits customers from the general public. Minneapolis bans discrimination in public accommodations based on race, color, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, marital status, and status regarding public assistance.

Public accommodations are establishments that provide goods and services to the general public; these include taxicab and on-demand ride services; restaurants, bars and food vendors; theaters; hotels; health and fitness clubs; hospitals; libraries; gas stations and retail stores.

City staff will hold a listening session Dec. 14 in Spanish and English to educate the community at large about protections against discrimination. Members of the community can also learn about their legal right to file a complaint of discrimination.

Listening session in Spanish and English
Noon Wednesday, Dec. 14
Waite House, 2323 11th Ave. S.

The City plans to hold additional sessions for Minneapolis community members and business owners and employees in January.

The investigations include using “testers” with diverse racial, gender, sexual orientation and economic backgrounds who also represent people with disabilities to act as patrons and document the treatment they receive.

Businesses that do not cease discriminatory practices are subject to fines, damages and penalties; prolonged monitoring and ultimately license revocation.

Discrimination in public accommodations adversely affects the health, welfare, peace and safety of the community. Discriminatory practices degrade individuals and foster intolerance and hate, thereby injuring the public welfare.

Find out what Minneapolis is doing to investigate and stop discrimination here.

Published Dec 9, 2016